Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Molecular Velcro

A material made of similarly shaped particles that stick to eachother by hooking similar parts of their shapes
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The idea would be that a material made out of lots of little particles with similar shapes that could link into fastened structures would have interesting properties -- it would act like a liquid under a certain amount of presure from a solid object, but "freeze" and hold its shape as the presure from that object was lessened.

Maybe the shape of each particle could be like a cube with each corner twisted into a widening corkscrew hook -- or maybe a cube with lots of little corkscrew hooks on its surface would work better.

JesusHChrist, Jan 28 2005

H http://www.straight...lassics/a1_033.html
[Laughs Last, Jan 29 2005]

Gecko Feet? http://www.post-gaz...0707gecko0707p2.asp
Microscopic Velcro [Giblet, Feb 01 2005]

A bigger version, but same principle. http://www.gothaila...hp?page=people8.htm
[Ling, Feb 01 2005]

Artificial Gecko Feet http://www.nytimes....science/30geck.html
200 times more powerful, apparently. [DrCurry, Aug 30 2005]

[link]






       What does the H stand for?
zeno, Jan 28 2005
  

       It's to remind you that in Spanish it's pronounced 'Haysoose'.
FarmerJohn, Jan 28 2005
  

       This sounds like the glue on 3M's Post-It notes.
Detly, Jan 28 2005
  

       A related material: micro paperclips. Shaking a mass of them causes them to cross-link, forming a gel.
ldischler, Jan 28 2005
  

       Ah.
zeno, Jan 31 2005
  

       "it would act like a liquid under a certain amount of presure from a solid object, but "freeze" and hold its shape as the presure from that object was lessened." kind of sounds like clay.
half, Jan 31 2005
  

       Molecules that bind with other molecules due to matching shapes are used every day - that's how our body fights germs.   

       But on the whole, molecular bonds are extraordinarily difficult to part - that is why most solids stay that way, rather than collapsing into piles of dust. So when you manage to stick two molecules together, they will likely stay stuck.   

       You might very well find molecules that will bind and unbind in your magic chemistry set, but I suspect do will do so under different conditions than the ones you specify. I think your best bet would be an applied electric field.   

       Otherwise, stick with Blutak. Or, per Detly, Post-Its.
DrCurry, Feb 01 2005
  

       "A gecko's foot contains millions of minuscule hairs, or setae, with tiny pads at their tips. Because they are only 200-billionths of a meter wide, the tips get close enough to any surface to be pulled by the surface's weak molecular forces. The combined strength of all the setae on a single gecko, Dr. Autumn found, is enough to lift an offensive lineman, about 280 pounds."   

       This 'van der Waal' weak force will keep the moleclules bound but not chemically, so removing them is a matter of peeling them off like a suction cup.   

       "I'm not a scientist, I'm just drawn that way."
Giblet, Feb 01 2005
  

       Ferro-fluid might be of interest. It normally flows like liquid until a magnetic field is applied, then it solidifies. Good for halfbaking.
Ling, Feb 01 2005
  

       As is a bottle or two of wine. What were we talking about again?
Worldgineer, Feb 01 2005
  

       Hmmm
The Kat, Feb 01 2005
  

       I was thinking, allbeit not so eloquently, that the individual particles could be any size, say the size of golf balls.
JesusHChrist, Feb 02 2005
  

       "the individual particles could be any size, say the size of golf balls"   

       So this is a new kind of velcro on a larger scale than regular velcro?   

       You might want to change the name of the invention then.
robinism, Feb 02 2005
  

       Or on the same scale as regular velcro, just not only micro level. Maybe Modular Velcro minimal units, velcro particles, Velcro individuals, Velcro balls?
JesusHChrist, Feb 02 2005
  

       //it would act like a liquid under a certain amount of presure from a solid object, but "freeze" and hold its shape as the presure from that object was lessened." kind of sounds like clay// Sounds more like....anti-custard!
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Feb 02 2005
  

       See link: when things are that small, you don't need hooks and loops - things just stick to eachother anyway.
DrCurry, Aug 30 2005
  

       Hey, I'm a Word Warrior. Hmph, figures.
Susan, Aug 30 2005
  
      
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